Kuari Pass Trek
The pass is probably the best window to view the high Himalayan peaks. The views are simply breathtaking, facing north the vision sweeps from the gorges of Trishul in the east to the peaks of Kedarnath in the west – the Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Nilkantha, Kamet, Gauri Parbat, Hathi Parbat, Nandadevi, Bethartoli, Dunagiri – (all high 6000ers or 7000 m peaks) lined one after the other in a magnificent arc … Southwards the foothills stretch wave upon wave on to the dim haze of the distant plains. Dotted by some remote villages one also gets good insights into the local life.
Grade : Moderate
Day 00 : Overnight train from Delhi to Dehradun
Board the overnight Nizamuddin Dehradun AC Special to be in Haridwar early in the morning.
Day 01 : Drive Rishikesh to Ghat (1330m) 7-8 hrs.
The drive takes one into the rugged country of the Garhwal along the Alaknanda river. Going past a few holy confluences and then finally into the narrow valley of Nandakini we reach Ghat, the road head for the trek in the evening.
Day 02 : Ghat – Ramni / Ghunni (2550m) 6-7 hrs.
For the first half the trail goes along the river and then finally starts climbing from the river bottom, some parts being quite steep. We camp just above the fairly large village of Ramni in a nice grassy patch and visit the village in the evening.
Day 03 : Ghunni – Sem Kharak (2400 m) 5-6 hrs
The trail starts climbing up to the pass, crosses a lot of small tributary rivers and waterfalls including one which offers a great opportunity for a shower. After a steady climb we arrive a small pass called Ramni pass (3060m) which offers views of Kuari Pass and then we descend gradually to the grazing meadows of Sem Kharak.
Day 04 : Sem Kharak – Pana (2450m) 5-6 hrs
From Sem kharak we descend down to the suspension bridge over the Birthi Ganga then climb up again to another prosperous village of Pana
Day 05 : Pana – Dhakwani (3341m) 6-7 hrs
Option of camping at Sartoli (2980m), an hour and a half short of Dhakwani.
A few ascends, descends and traverses bring us close to the foot of the Kuari Pass. The trail comes out of the tree line and goes through the grazing grounds in the meadow country to reach Dhakwani.
Day 06 : Dhakwani – Tali (3180m) 4-5 hrs
The trail is steep up to the Kuari Pass (3690m) and it takes about 2-3 hours to get there. Once we are up on the pass, the views are simply breathtaking, a wide panorama of high Himalayas – the Chaukhamba range, Nilkanth (6596m), and Abigamin (7355m) extend to the Tibetan border. In the middle foreground, the main Himalayain chain in the vicinity of the Bhyundar valley & Hemkund includes Nilgiri parbat (6474m), Rataban (6166m). We walk down the beautiful ridge heading towards Auli and camp at the small campsite of Tali in the woods.
Day 07 : Tali – Auli (3000m) 3-4 hrs and drive to Birahi (1330m)
The last day of the trek is very different from the rest of the days. We climb out of the woods into the meadowland with wide views of the high mountains right in front. The walk finishes as Auli before going through the wide rolling meadows of Gorson. It’s about 3 hours drive from here to the comforts of the hotel in Birahi.
Day 08 : Birahi – Delhi
After an early morning breakfast set out for the long 8 hr drive to reach Hardwar in the evening to board the evening Shatabdi Express leaving at 6:10 pm to be back in Delhi by 10:30 pm. Trip ends !
Cost per person: Rs 29,117/-
Rs 19586 (trek cost)+Rs 8800(travel Cost)=Rs 28386+2.575%(service tax)
Cost includes: all travel from Delhi and back to Delhi by road/ rail / air as applicable (by non ac car / 2 or 3 tier ac coach), all arrangements for staying and camping while on the trip, accommodation on twin share basis in tents / rest houses / hotels, all meals, professional guide fee, peak fee, sanctuary fee / royalty / permits where applicable, all trekking arrangements with india’s most experienced guiding team, camp staff, cook etc.
Cost excludes: Railway station / airport transfers in delhi, any stay and meals in delhi, sleeping bag, items of personal clothing, expenses of personal nature like laundry, phone calls, alcohol, cigarettes, insurance, camera fee and any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.
Note: Please book your spot well in time as the overnight trains get filled up very quickly, sometimes couple of months ahead of the travel dates. TATKAL Quota of tickets opens for booking only two days ahead of the travel date and there is an extra cost of Rs 500 for each of such booking. These tickets are paper tickets, confirmation is never guaranteed and arrangements to have them picked up from our office in Delhi would have to be made by you.
Our expedition trips are designed for energetic and flexible people who have the spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Previous experience in the outdoors and camping helps, though is not a must. These trips are participatory in nature, and everyone is expected to pitch in, set up and break down their own tent, clean their own dishes. Look up our trip grading before you sign up.
The Next Step
Ready to go? Email me at email@example.com to book your place and we will guide you through the booking process.
In remote regions, we often use local suppliers who provide services that may include vehicles for transportation, equipment, logistical support, hotels, guest houses etc. We do not own or operate these independent services or suppliers. We work with them as they share our commitment to service and quality.
CHECKLIST FOR ESSENTIAL PERSONAL ITEMS FOR TREK:
01. Warm Sleeping Bag till 0’C (you could hire one @ Rs 100/- per day)
02. Woolens/thermal underwear
03. Wind/rain proof jacket
04. Good hiking/trekking shoes ; spare sandals
05. Socks – cotton+woolen / gloves
06. Water Bottle – at least 1 Lit.
07. Flash Light and spare batteries – important
08. Sun Shade/Hat with Brim/woolen hat/gloves
10. Sunscreen/Sun block SPF 50 and more
11. Vaseline/Lip Salve
12. Insect Repellent (if you are prone to bites)
13. Personal Toiletries – towels/soap etc.
14. Rucksack/duffel bag to carry your baggage
15. Kari mat / Thermarest (optional)
16. Small daypack to carry camera, packed lunch, water bottle and wind/rain jacket on a walk.
17. Long trousers / long shirts / T-shirts etc.
18. Thermal underwear for cold days
19. Shorts / swimsuits for those warm days and a possible swim
20. Personal medication, if any
21. Your favourite Poison packed in plastic bottles.
Note: Please keep your personal items to a minimum (besides the essentials) so that your bag (No hard shells please) is light and easy to carry. An extra daypack is a must to carry your camera, packed lunch and water bottle.
This is very important – please read very carefully – it will help you immensely in readying for the trek.
What to expect :
Temperatures & climate : Temperatures on the trip will vary from 20-30 degrees or to minimum 0-5 degrees Celsius. Its best to be prepared for lower temperatures due to wind chill or the weather turning bad. The days are hot and the nights refreshingly cool. You should be ready for inclement weather in any case as storms build up rather quickly at altitude.
What to carry: Keep it light – although what you carry with you is a very personal decision. Some of our guests love to travel as light as possible while others are only happy when they have countless bits of equipment for every possible occurrence, most of which will never be used. The list we sent out covers all essentials that you must carry.
What you are expected to carry during the day on the trail is a day pack – to carry things that you will need throughout the day, such as your camera, extra film rolls, water bottle, packed lunch, sweets, rehydration powders, waterproofs, toilet paper, a fleece or a jumper. It may be also advisable to carry a small flashlight in your daypack, just in case.
Good footwear is very important – most trails in the Indian Himalayas are pretty rough and steep so a good pair of shoes is important. Socks, both for walking and a pair of warm ones for keeping feet warm inside the tent at night, is a good bet. Its important to bring a broken in shoe than a brand new one which could cause severe blisters.
Clothes: A good base layer which could be a thermal top (polypropylene), with a T-shirt on top will keep you warm and dry. Mid layers provide insulation so anything that is warm will do e.g. a medium thickness woolen jumper or a mid-weight fleece top, along with another lightweight fleece top will suffice. If you really feel the cold, substitute the thinner layer with a down jacket. The outer layer is the final layer between you and the elements and must be capable of keeping out the wind, rain and snow. Any good waterproof, windproof jacket would do the job. Leg wear in the form of thermal long johns are invaluable. Cotton trousers or long skirts (long skirts for ladies also double as a `port-a-loo’) worn over this layer can keep you very comfortable. A good sun hat is very essential. Sunglasses which offer 100% UV protection are necessary to combat strong daylight.
A good quality sleeping bag ensures a good nights sleep after a long day outdoors. Do not compromise on your sleeping bag – err on the side of carrying a warmer bag, than carrying a light one which may give you many sleepless nights.
Carry any and all personal medication that you may need, and its an absolute must to let us know well in advance should you be suffering from any particular ailment.
How to carry: Its best to carry your belongings in a large, tough duffel bag or a big rucksack. A bum / waist bag is handy to have your camera, film rolls, flashlights (handy when visiting monasteries / temples) and a guidebook, when you are sightseeing. Pack similar things such as clothes, washing things, camping equipment etc. in separate stuff sacks or polythene bags so they are easier to pull out and add to the waterproofing in your bag. Your main bag should be a tough one as it will be on mule back, not the best place to be for a fragile backpack.
Travel to any part of the Indian Himalayas deserves a little more respect than many other high altitude destinations because the most of the regions lie over 2600 meters (8500 ft). People in good health should not get alarmed by this but if you have a medical condition such as high blood pressure, heart or lung disease, you must take the advise of a doctor who has experience with the effects of altitude. We do not take heart or lung patients, or pregnant mothers on such trips.
Any kind of exercise which gets you fitter before this trip is advisable, as it will enable you to enjoy the region more.
A day on a trek begins with breakfast at 7 am by which time; you are expected to vacate your tent so packing can begin. Your help with setting up and packing up of tents is always welcome. We aim to usually be on the trail by 8:30 am and reach our camp for the day by 2-3pm, if not earlier. Long days on the trail may mean an earlier start and a 8-10 hour walking day. Lunch is usually had on the walk, and you’d get into camp for a welcome cup of tea. Remember to carry your favorite poison – there is no local produce to bank on.
You will sleep inside tents. Karri mats are provided for you to sleep on and are placed under your sleeping bag. If you have your personal karrimat, please carry it along.
Our entire crew will consist of guide and cooking staff (alongwith mules and mule men), which would prepare the days meals for the days that we are camping out. Menus vary from Indian fare to Chinese, pasta, cold cuts, sandwiches, eggs etc.. We will provide you safe drinking water throughout the trek – it will either be bottled or boiled with a dash of iodine.
The entire crew moves together in a totally self-contained manner like a tight knit unit. All food, water and shelter, is carried on the trek which is why we need to use discretion while packing – see the update above on packing.
It will help for you all to carry some easy to access medicine on the trip, for headaches, diarrhea, constipation, and some re-hydration powders like Electral etc. It’s also a good idea to have a roll of toilet paper accessible should you need to go.